Way back in 1997, I got my grubby little sausage fingers on a game that, unbeknownst to me, would change, nay, DEFINE the landscape of the first-person shooter (fps) genre from that point forward. GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 (N64) is the Godfather of the modern fps, so join me as I gush over this masterpiece on its 20th birthday.
The N64 did a shit load of things right – great platformers, excellent graphics for its time, and some of the best first-party titles Nintendo has ever released, to name a few, but, the best thing about the N64 was playing with your friends. Before the N64, consoles needed adapters to play four players games. And even when you had these multi-tap adapters,
most of the games weren’t optimized for four player fun. The N64 changed that by adding four controller ports right on the console, and GoldenEye 007 capitalized on it. Don’t get me wrong, I played the hell out that campaign mode, but my fondest memories from GoldenEye are playing multiplayer. Specifically in the Facility camped out in a bathroom stall…with a RC-P90 aimed at the door. My character of choice…Oddjob. I know this isn’t a popular decision among gamers, and I don’t care. In fact, please @ me so I can laugh in your face for picking anybody other than him. Strategic (height) advantages like you read about.
Going back and playing GoldenEye 007 after a long absence can be a bit jarring. The dual analog stick controls, that have become the standard of modern shooters, are nowhere to be found and the graphics are obviously not on par with modern consoles (or even mobile devices for that matter). But, in the end, none of that really matters. A few minutes into a multiplayer game of “man with the golden gun” and all the controls come right back to you. A few kills later and you can barely notice the strangely square head of Pierce Brosnan.
GoldenEye 007 is ground zero for thousands of games that have tried to imitate the feeling I had when I first played with my brother 20 years ago. It truly was, and is, a special game.
On GoldenEye 007’s birthday, let’s dust off our N64’s and play a round of “license to kill” …for old time’s sake.
P.S. – Let’s pray GoldenEye 007 gets included on the N64 Classic (if it gets made). I would say it’s a given, but Nintendo can make weird moves sometimes.
P.S. (the sequel) – My 10 must-have titles on a N64 Classic.
- GoldenEye 007
- Mario 64
- MarioKart 64
- Body Harvest
- Super Smash Brothers
- Snowboard Kids
- Ocarina of Time
- Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
- Pokemon Stadium
I’m not going to front like I know what Iwata’s been up to these last few years, or anytime before that. All I know is that he brought my brother and I some of the greatest happiness we have ever known in the form of a tiny pixelated plumber named Mario. I also won’t act like I knew the guy, but after seeing something very disturbing on the internet yesterday I have a feeling he might be rolling over in his grave.
Charlie Wilco, from Barstool sports, put up one of the most egregious lists of all time. He tried putting together a list of the 12 best N64 games. Don’t get me wrong, his heart was in the right place and he almost had a semi-deent list, but like in Mecha Marathon, almost doesn’t count.
Here is the list in order from 15th best to the best (Because you’re a coward if you make a “best of” list and don’t give value to the positions.):
Taking the unsung hero spot on our list, Banjo-Kazooie is easily one of the best 3D platformers on the N64. Which is saying a lot because 3D platformers is where the N64 setup shop. You don’t know true frustration until you’ve played this game.
14: Mario 64
Just like the The SNES, and the NES before it, this wouldn’t be a Nintendo console without a Mario game and The N64 brought out the big guns on this one. I specifically remember pissing myself over how different this game was compared to every other game I have ever played. No matter what list you make of N64 games, this has to be on it somewhere.
13: Diddy Kong Racing
Mario Kart this and Mario Kart that…and rightfully so, it’s an awesome game (but we will get to that later). Diddy Kong Racing on the other hand, never gets the respect it deserves. You can race as a hovercraft and an airplane for fuck’s sake! How could you not be into that type of racing game! Not to mention it was almost like an adventure game and a racing game boned and had a sick twisted love child; what I mean is, you get the best of both worlds.
12: NFL Blitz
Da Bomb…..every. fucking. time.
Sometimes games come along and become instant classics, but not entirely because of their gameplay. Star Fox is a great game, don’t get me wrong, but it makes this list for one reason and one reason only, the rumble pack. The advent of the rumble pack change gaming for a lifetime and it all started with a Fox who flies a spaceship……what the fuck was Iwata on while working at Nintendo.